A Persuasive Speech on the Topic of Organ Donation
First of all I would like to thank you the board for inviting me here today, allowing me to be a part of and contributing to this cause that personally means so much to me. When I first contacted your organization, the Executive Director informed me that the greatest need was for a campaign that was tailored toward people between the ages of 18 and 24. The focus was to be on encouraging organ donation and facilitating open communication of the donor’s decision with family members. Overall the campaign was to inform them of our nation’s public health crisis regarding organ donation.
That’s right: Organ Donation is a public health crisis.
- According to UNOS, the United Network for Organ Sharing as of this morning there are 90,350 American men, women, and children on the transplant waiting list.
- One person will die needlessly at the end of this hour waiting for organ donation and 10 more people are added to this list every day.
- There are over 250 billion people in our country.
According to the Department of Health and Human Resources, in 2002, there were 2.5 million deaths, and 106,742 of them were due to accidents. In 2002, 6,190 donor heroes and their families made the decision to donate. When comparing these statistics less than a half percent, not even 1% of these accidental fatalities were used to save or improve the life of another human being. So when I say heroes that is exactly what I mean.
Figures taken from The Oregon Donor Program website are disheartening. The Oregon population is at 3.5 million and last year only 84 donor heroes and their families chose to donate the gift of life in our state.
You see the reality is it doesn’t take 90,000 donors to save or improve the lives of these people. For every one organ donor has the potential to help at least 50 individuals with their “Gift of Life”. You see I know this personally because two very special people to me were organ donors who died tragically and unexpectedly. Through my experiences I have gained a greater understanding of what the “Gift of Life” really means.
This campaign was specifically tailored for the scholars of Southern Oregon University, its alumni and community members who are a truth seeking, compassionate, and educated group of individuals. The campaign goal is to share this information utilizing an information kiosk for SOU students and alumni in the student union. The kiosk would give SOU community members the opportunity to sign up as organ donors and would offer practical useful tools to share their decision with their loved ones.
The two artifacts I have created specifically for this persuasion campaign are:
* A green hospital bracelet will be given to each new organ donor or individuals who can show a driver’s license indicating them as being an organ donor at the kiosk.
The bracelet itself is an example of symbolic persuasion representing the many lives that have been touched by organ donation. The pictures and names on each bracelet are actual people that have either been the patient waiting, the patient who died waiting, the transplant survivor, or the donor heroes.
The bracelet then is used as a reminder, and a reinforcing element of their commitment to organ donation. Because the bracelet is worn and not tucked away it encourages vital communication of the donor’s decision with family and peers.
My second artifact is a letter that was created to address and personalize the donor’s donation decision. A Gallup poll conducted for the Partnership for Organ Donation showed that 85% of Americans supported organ donation. According to the Organtransplants.org website each year nearly 50% of families decline the opportunity to save lives by donating organs and tissues of deceased loved ones. The truth is even if you have decided to be an organ donor and you yourself know the significance of your choice your family has the final say as to whether or not your commitment is carried out.
The letter will serve as another reminder of the donor’s commitment to share his donation decision with his family, furthermore solidifying his decision and his intent.
In conclusion, the facts remain that:
- 90,350 people are waiting…for a life-saving transplant
- 19 people die every day because of the lack of organ donation.
- Last year 6,529 people died …waiting for a life saving transplant.
- In 2004 there were 7,151 donors and their families who chose to share the “gift of life”.
- According to the Department of Health and Human Resources in 2004, 27,036 people received a lifesaving organ transplant.
Organ donation is based on altruism in our culture. That is according to Mr. Webster an unselfish concern for or dedication to the interests or welfare of others. My final plea to this audience of truth seeking, compassionate, educated individuals would be to take a look at the facts, take a look at the need then take a look at what you can and will do to help fill the gap for Alex, Christopher, Amy, Fletcher, Mike, Katy, Jim, Jonah, Kim, Crystal, Gloria, Darcy, Chuck, Nikolette, Caleb, Don, Zachary, Joshua, Isabella, Mark, Kennedy, Alicia, Jerry, Ashton, Gary and Nona.
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